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1996 Ermitage Le Meal

Chapoutier

94Average Score
flagRhone / France
Red
drink-now2000-2040

A completely different beast from the Pavillon, the 1996 Ermitage Le Meal is a sexy, layered unctuously textured beauty that offers the classic sweetness and silkiness that’s the hallmark of this site. Black raspberries, blackberries, dried flowers, herbes des Provence and sweet spice all emerge from this full-bodied, layered and beautifully proportioned Hermitage. Like all of the 1996s from Michel, it shows a lively, fresh and pure character, and is a joy to drink. It also opens up nicely with time in the glass and has another decade or two of longevity.<br><br>This 20-year retrospective was a chance to look at the 1996s, as well as a few 1995s, from Michel Chapoutier. Looking at the 1996 vintage, this was a cooler, late vintage that favored those with patience; these releases from Chapoutier are fresh and lively, with good concentration and beautiful, granite influenced characters. They’re in direct opposition to his larger, more concentrated and decadently styled 1995s, which are from a warmer vintage. The 1995s don't have the same purity or granite feel, but they have more flesh and texture. All of these wines are mature, yet they have plenty of life ahead as well. All of these wines were tasted in the spring of 2016. Jul 2016, www.robertparker.com, Drink: 2000-2036

Jeb Dunnuck    Score: 95/100    Drink 2000-2036

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